The Lebanese pound is trading at a record high of 35,000 to the dollar


A currency exchange seller counts U.S. dollar banknotes next to Lebanese pounds at a currency exchange office in Beirut, Lebanon May 24, 2022. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

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BEIRUT, May 26 (Reuters) – The Lebanese pound traded at a record high of more than 35,000 to the dollar on Thursday, according to exchange platforms and traders, as divisions in a newly elected parliament are fueling fears that the political paralysis will deteriorate the country’s financial situation. crisis.

The legislature elected on May 15 has yet to hold its first session with major blocs divided over who to elect as speaker of parliament.

The country reached a provisional agreement with the International Monetary Fund in April, but several pre-measures for the release of funds, including amendments to bank secrecy regulations and a capital control bill, have yet to be passed by the government. the parliament. Read more

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The pound has lost more than 95% of its value since 2019, when it was valued at 1,500 just before the country plunged into economic collapse.

Lebanon’s three-year financial crisis has plunged three quarters of the population into poverty and food prices have soared more than 11 times, with further price increases seen in supermarkets this week.

After decades of pegging the currency, the central bank is now offering multiple rates, including a flexible exchange rate that was trading around 25,000 this week.

The spread between market exchange rates and the central bank rate has widened considerably since the May 15 election.

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Reporting by Maya Gebeily; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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